HOUSTON — A man has filed a civil rights lawsuit against a Houston police officer and the City of Houston, after claiming the officer slammed his head into a jail cell door. And a newly released video may support his claim.
Reuben Williams said when he was arrested for a DUI in 2014, HPD officer S. Corral smashed his head into the door, causing him to bleed profusely.
“He says maybe he did something wrong, but he didn't deserve this,” his father, Reuben Williams Sr, said.
Officer S. Corral is seen taking Williams in cuffs to a holding cell in the video, court documents said. The officer bashes the younger Williams’ head into a steal door jam while he’s escorting him, Williams said.
The inmate bled profusely and needed 10 stitches, a prosecutor said. Once inside the cell, Williams claims Corral held him with a neck nerve hold until he passed out.
“HPD never intended for this video to come out,” the elder Williams said.
Williams is suing for an unspecified amount of money and his suit brings up the issue of releasing dash-cam and body-cam footage.
According to Shelby Stewart with the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, the public absolutely has a right to see police videos immediately.
“We should be able to trust the police in what they do,” Stewart said.
In the video, Williams doesn’t appear to be resisting officer Corral, who claims Williams spit on him before the head-bashing incident. The officer charged him with felony harassment of a public servant. Corral also claims the assault was unintentional.
Internal affairs cleared Corral of any wrong-doing and a grand jury did not indict him.